Sunday, January 24, 2010

OUT OF TOUCH

My dearest friends in cyberspace,

My mother, who is 78 years old, is having surgery on Tuesday for a torn rotator cuff in the shoulder.  She is in good health, but at her age, I worry a lot about her being put to sleep.  I was going to fly out on Wednesday, but decided today that I wanted to be there for the surgery, to be with my Daddy especially.  I called to tell them that I'd changed my flight to in the morning and they were elated. I could feel the relief in their voices.

After all of the years, 78 of them, taking care of me, it is now my wish to take care of them whenever they need me.  Their love has steered me along many paths of life and never ceased.  It has always been unconditional.  I cannot take back the hurts that I put on them, but I am loving them as hard as I possibly can now.

SOOOOO, I will be offline until Sunday, February 7th.  Please pray for my mother, for a successful and safe surgery.  And will you please pray for a safe flight for me?  I treasure each and every visitor to this place of mine.  I love you, as I see Jesus in each one of you.

God bless and I will be back soon!

Love,
Abbey

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Brother, Buddy

My conversion story became so long, and I realize after a comment from Marcy that I did not complete the part about my brother, Buddy.

Over the first 10 years or so in Texas, my brother came to visit us a few times and he'd stay for a couple of weeks.  They would maybe drive out and he would stay and then take the bus home.

As the years grew on, Mama and Daddy came to a point where they would not allow my sister and me to stay overnight with my birth mother and her husband, along with my brother and two steps that she had born, and I would cry and become upset, but they would not move. 

It became my birth mother's "habit" to pull me aside whenever she was around and tell me her tales about how I was "stolen" from her, along with brainwashing me against my Mama and Daddy.  She cried real tears, the whole nine yards, and she had me hook, line and sinker.  Mama and Daddy never said anything to her, but they were quite aware of what she was doing.  Whenever she would leave, I'd be so hateful to my mama and daddy, which brought about my being punished for acting out.  Mama says today, "it would take us two or three weeks to get you calmed down after she had visited.  We knew what she was doing, but we chose to not say anything so that you could make up your own mind when you were grown and could see all of the facts."

In my early teens, the calls stopped, so did the birthday cards and the Christmas presents.  If we happened to go back to Alabama, we would stay with my uncle and my brother would come and see us, as well as the rest of them.  They would ask me and my sister to go home with them, and again, Mama and Daddy were adamant, the answer was always "no."

I moved to California and was out of communication with any of them for a number of years, but when I moved to the South, I instantly got in touch with Buddy.  I wanted to see my brother.  Buddy met me at my Aunt's house one evening and we had a wonderful visit, and he still referred to me as "Sister".  I remember he had a rather unkept beard and I offered to trim it for him.  I scratched it good with my nails and he said that it felt "so good", as I could imagine it would.

Even though I now lived within an hour of him, the relationships were strained.  My sister and her husband were staunchly against any of them, including Buddy, ever being welcome in their home.  This made me feel bad.  I guess I just didn't understand it.  They said they didn't trust him and didn't want him around their children.

I see in hindsight that the way that Buddy was raised is completely contrary to how my sister and I were raised.  I say he was "raised" to do certain things, behave a certain way, and curse like a sailor because he was a baby when we were separated.  We are all products of our environment, and poor Buddy's was just awful.  I indicated a bit of how he was treated by his step-dad in the story of my conversion.  They all behaved in concert.  They drank a lot, smoked, cursed, stole and just led lives that were not something that I supposed I would want my children around either.  But Buddy was my brother and I didn't want to turn away from him.

Circumstances didn't bring us together but once or twice, and he called when he was on the road driving a truck and was passing through.

On the morning of March 10, 1985, my Auntie Ree called me at 6 a.m.  I answered the phone and she was sobbing.  She said, "Buddy's dead,"  I didn't think I had heard her right so I said, "what?"  She repeated, "Buddy's dead."  Here is the story behind the death of my brother.  I wanted you to know how he was raised so you would understand how he came to travel in the circles that he did.

My half-sister, Brenda, was on her second or third marriage.  She had married an ex-con named Johnny.  She and Johnny shared a house owned by my natural mother with Buddy and his wife, Diane.  Buddy came in late one night and I would imagine he had been drinking.  He turned on the television and so I am told, the noise irritated Johnny, who was sleeping.  Johnny walked out of his bedroom with a rifle in his hands.  Buddy stood up and said something, I don't know what, but suddenly Johnny pulled the trigger.  The bullet richochet off one of Buddy's ribs and pierced his heart, killing him instantly.

Once Brenda saw what he had done, I'm sure there was shock, disbelief and the cover-up began immediately.  Brenda, who was on drugs (I heard, LSD) took the gun and left the house.  I have no memory of what the police were told had happened.  On the way to the farm where they were all raised, Brenda stopped and threw the gun into a pond to dispose of this evidence.  She walked into the home of her parents and sat down to watch television with them as if nothing had happened.  She was there when the police called to inform the family that my brother had been shot and was dead.

Some how or other, the truth came out, and Johnny and Brenda were arrested.  Brenda has a small child, a girl, who was living at the farm with her grandparents.  In order for the parents to help Brenda, she had to sign her child over to them, just in case she went to jail.  So, the whole thing comes full circle.  My natural mother signed away two of her children and now her daughter was signing her child over to my natural mother.  There is no hope of breaking the cycle.  I know they were livid with Brenda for her part in the murder, but they helped to get her charges dropped and made sure that Johnny was sent to prison for Buddy's murder, where he remains today.  He has had several parole hearings, all of which have been attended by Buddy's mother (and formerly mine), and parole has been denied each time.

My sister was firm.  She would not attend the funeral.  I was torn.  I despised the husband my mother had married, I was angry for Brenda's part in the murder of my only brother, and I was angry at all of them for (1) covering for Brenday, (2) that my brother was dead, and (3) that if she had allowed him to go with his two sisters, he might still be alive.  Thus, I could not make myself participate in this travesty.  It was as if I were in a horror movie.  I knew that I would not be able to maintain my silence and I was simply broken hearted.  At that moment, I hated them, all of them, with every fiber of my being.  I resigned that funerals are for the living, which in my opinion they didn't deserve that right, and I know that Buddy' loved me and I him.

It wasn't until 1991 that I visited my brother's grave out in the country.  My aunt was dying of cancer and it was I and my natural mother who were taking care of her.  I had to take her to the country and I decided it was a good time to see where my brother's resting place lay.  Of course, my natural mother was all over me with how much she loved me, and it was my aunt's dying wish to see us reunited, so I went along to satisfy a dying woman that I loved dearly. 

Being at the grave, looking at the headstone that beared his name, it was very surreal and hard to believe.  I didn't linger long for the two ladies seemed to be waiting and wanting some reaction, and I wasn't about to give them one.

I didn't see my brother's grave again until 2002.  My husband took me there after Thanksgiving.  I wanted to put some flowers on his grave.  We found the small cemetery and both began walking all over looking for Buddy's grave.  I couldn't find it and I was beginning to lose it.  Finally, Lee saw it, I had walked right past it.  When I walked up, my body fell to the ground, arms latched onto the headstone.  I heaved and I cried, and I cried.  Lee left me there which was the most thoughtful thing.  He gave me this time to cry, tears that had been saved for nearly twenty years.  I came to sit by his grave and noticed some tiny lavendar wild flowers popping up all over his grave.  I talked to him about a lot of things, but mostly how sorry I was for all of the time lost and taken from us.

Following my serious illness in 2005, which brought me fully to conversion, I began to pray in earnest for the repose of my brother's soul.  Buddy was raised to be a hoodlum, more or less, but I wondered if God gave any certain consideration if he was not raised to know Him.  I prayed every day for about two years.  And then, the dream - or vision - came.

I saw my brother approach me.  He was surrounded by a brilliant aura. There was nothing behind him except this aura.  His hair was soft as a baby's, and his face was shining and soft. There seemed to be a breeze softly blowing his soft curly hair.  I remember being so happy to see him.  He put his hands on both my shoulders and said, "I love you, sister."  He then hugged and kissed me and then he was gone.

I haven't dreamed about my brother ever, before or after this one time.  I may seem an old fool, but I believe Buddy is perfectly fine, he is in a good place.  He came to let me know this, and the whole vision or dream was of a heavenly quality, which makes me feel that he is finally in the good place where we all want to go.

I visit Buddy's grave from time to time, and I talk with him, but I know he is not there. I am looking toward the time when I leave this world and am able to be reunited with him for all eternity.  I still think of him.  I cry when I watch the home movies of all of us as kids playing together.  It never fails that I don't say under my breath, "poor Buddy, he never had a chance,"

Incidentally, when I was a grown woman, I asked Mama "what really happened back then?", as it pertains to the adoption.  As the truth goes, my grandmother brought me to their house completely unexpected.  She said, "Here's Abbey.  If you want her, you can have her."  Mama and Daddy were stunned and I'm sure there were things said that Mama doesn't want to repeat, but they took us, no questions asked.  Two weeks later, my grandmother stopped by with my sister.  She said she was taking her down to Mobile to stay with my natural father.  Mama and Daddy insisted she stay there with me.  They didn't want to two of us separated.  After a year had passed and we had seen my natural mother only twice, my Daddy told her "you have to make up your mind about these girls. We've had them a year and we are growing more in love with them every day, and we don't want you to just come take them away one day on a whim."  Thus, the adoption proceedings began.  A social worker had to come to the house and talk to us, see where we lived, etc.  A court date was set and all convened at the appointed time.  My natural parents were both told by the judge, "do you know what you are doing? When you sign these documents, you will be giving up all rights to your girls."  They both acknowledged that they understood and both signed the documents giving custody of my sister and I to Mama and Daddy (did I say that Daddy is my natural mother's brother?).

My Daddy has never had much use for my natural mother since then.  Everybody in the family likes to pity [natural mother], but my Daddy has scrupples.  He didn't condone the lifestyle she lived when we were with her, he didn't see how a woman could literally give away her two children, and lastly, he was as hurt as the rest of us over Buddy's demise.  We managed to get him, her and my uncle all together during Christmas 2008 at a family celebration.  I managed to get a good photo of the three of them together.  I think I heard Daddy's teeth grinding (kidding) . . . but Daddy just doesn't have anything to say to her.

I tried to manage some semblance of a relationship with her for years, to no avail.  The excuse used to be that I was too far away.  Now there isn't any excuse because I live less than an hour away and the call isn't even long distance.  Still, my natural mother stands on the lie that she has perpetuated all of these years.  I've given up.  When I told her about being molested, there was not a single concern uttered for me - only that she wondered which of her two husbands had done the deed,  Behind my back, she even toyed out loud that "how do we know it didn't happen after you left my care?"  Still, over 50 years later, she is making sure she is not responsible.  It's okay, lady.  I released you from any responsibility a long time ago.  You said you loved me, that you have missed me, but you don't call.  You only email jokes to me, which I delete without reading.

Do you think it's good that I just let it go?  I do.  My real father passed away two years ago and I felt nothing for him.  I had not seen him since I was 3 years old.  When my natural mother passes, I'm certain I will attend her funeral services, and being the emotional person that I am, I am certain that I will shed many tears.  For this is a tragic story and many parts of it are worthy of my tears.  But I was blessed beyond all imagination when God made certain that my sister and I landed in good hands, that we were loved as much, if not more, as if we were Mama and Daddy's natural children.  But I have lived with the knowledge that I was given away; that my real father molested me; and that all of this has affected every important decision I've ever made where it concerned relationships with people.  After much therapy, I know that it is not my fault.  I now know why I did the things I did, why I rebelled, why I chose the worst of the lot in my love life and suffered so much hurt. 

By the Grace of God, I am finally well down the road of healing.  I am forever in His debt.  I am spending all of the time I have with Mama and Daddy being loved by them and returning their love tenfold.  And I am spending my life in the company of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father, and they both live in my heart forever and ever.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

At Last, The Story of My Conversion

It's a long story, but I could not leave out anything, for it all had an impact on my conversion.

~*~

When I was but 3 years old, and my sister was 4, my Grandmother White took us to our Uncle Bob and Aunt Betty's house in Selma where Uncle Bob was stationed at Craig Air Force Base (see photo of me and my sister on sidebar).  We were so acclamated to being tossed around from one family member to another that it wasn't anything traumatic.  I just remember my Grandmother, who had enormouse presence, walking up the hill from where we parked roadside on Highway 31.  I follwed her carrying my favorite doll.  I remember her carrying my suitcase and some dresses on hangars over her shoulder.

A year later, we were still at Uncle Bob and Aunt Betty's house.  I had no sense of time, but I have glimmers of occasions during that time.  Years later I understood why they asked us to begin calling them "Daddy" and "Mama".  They had filed for adoption after having us for one year as required by law. 

My natural mother and father also sired a son, my brother "Buddy".  They had divorced and she had found another man to marry.  It was as if my sister and I were forgotten.  My natural parents appeared in court on the appointed day and time, along with Uncle Bob and my Grandmother White, and they literally signed away their two daughters, me and my sister.  Uncle Bob tried his best to get Buddy also, so that we would all be together.  However, my natural mother would not give him up.  "No, he's a boy and [nbame of second husband] would never forgive me if I let him go."  As it turned out, my brother grew up as what some refer to "white trash".  The step-father was verbally and physically abusive.  I have a very clear memory of him with a belt lashing at my brother in their home.  My brother was cowarying under an end table next to the sofa.  He was shirtless and wearing cut-off jeans.  I felt so sorry for him.  Today, I think, "He probably endured hundreds of times of being beaten at the hand of [that man]."

My new Daddy had orders to transfer to another city and state, and thus we packed up and moved to Amarillo, Texas.  This is where I was raised.   I was five years old when we moved.  My sister started school, which was across the street from the duplex we rented.  On Saturday evenings, Mama had us to get our baths, wash our hair, and then she would put it up in pin-curls.  Sunday mornings, she would take out the pins and style our pretty curls before heading to church.

Mama was raised in the Assembly of God Church and Daddy was raised in the Church of God, both being pentecostal churches.  In fact, my mother and daddy met at church camp one summer.  My mother came to camp from Nashville, Tennessee, and my daddy from Decatur, Alabama.  His older stepbrother, my Uncle Grady, was a Church of God minister, and he was the head "honcho" at church camp.  His wife, Aunt Mary, saw to it that my mama and daddy met by making him meet the bus and strategically getting him in position to have to carry my mothers suitcase to her dorm.  The rest is history.  They were both 16 years old.  My daddy would marry, have a baby girl and divorce before he and my mother finally married at age 21. 

I want to touch on one thing that breaks my heart.  My mother's church wrote a letter to her admonishing her for marrying a divorcee with a child.  She was literally "kicked out" of her church.  My Granny (mama's mother) had been at First Assembly of God all her life, and she had raised my mother there.  They attended church every time the doors were open.  That meant Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday nights, plus all revivals.  That WAS my mama's church.  Imagine kicking someone out of God's house. To this day, mama attends church but has told me that she has never "joined" a church because she could never go through that hurt again.  It hurt her deeply.

We were raised going to First Assembly.  We would go every Sunday for a while, and then it would slack off with Mama sleeping in with Daddy (who never went with us).  Those Sundays were always a relief because I detested going to church.  I am not saying anything against the principles of that faith, but I was never "comfortable".  The ladies all carried their Bibles under their arms and as a young girl, I would watch as they found the scripture of which the Minister was speaking.

There was another aspect that I found curious.  That was the people who "became filled with the Holy Spirit" and would beging "speaking in tongues".  When this happened, people were standing silently, some with their hands lifted praising Jesus.  I would strain to see whoever was speaking and mama would admonish me to bow my head,

In Sunday School, I always felt left out.  Every month, Sunday School classes received their workbook for the month.  In between Sundays, you were to read the scripture and answer the questions in the workbook.  I never did my assignment until Sunday morning, where I would hastily read the scripture that was truly Greek to me, and could only try to answer the questions.  Invariably, all of the boys and girls in my class were anxiously happy when they arrived and all would raise their hand to answer questions, so why would the Sunday School Teacher call on me, the lone ranger who did not raise her hand.  I obviously did not know the answer because my hand remained in my lap and my head was lowered,  It was this repetitious embarrassment that "turned me off" to Sunday School, and Church lasted so long, it seemed like forever, so I wasn't thrilled sitting in the hard pew for this long period listening to our pastor sometimes jumping up and down and screaming fires of hell and damnation to all of us.

All of my life growing up was spent in this sporadic going to church and then stopping for a period of time.  Each time we returned, it was with embarrassment that I walked into Sunday School.  I was welcomed and given the current workbook, and of course, I could not answer any questions about the Bible.  I could not be less interested.

I married due to an unplanned pregnancy and left home at age 17.  In short, my husband (who was a year older than me) became verbally and physically abusive.  In my shame and also due to my pride, I didn't tell anyone about the abuse.  In these types of relationships, a woman is literally brainwashed into believing that she caused the abuse, that it was her fault.  He would always apologize and swear he'd never do it again.  We divorced three years after marrying.  There was no spiritual activity in our lives either.

I had moved to California with my first husband and remained there after the divorce.  I lived there with my daughter for 8 years.  During that time, I dallied in various drugs, but nothing akin to heroine; I never put a needle in my arm.  I loved to smoke marijuana, and every now and then, I'd be in the company of friends with pills, which I took for the effect of being down or high.  Promiscuity was rampant in the 1970's.  There was no AIDS, but there were STD's.  I don't feel I need to go into details.  I was (and still am) a sinner.  I never acknowledged God, and in fact, lived with a man in my early 20's who convinced me that I was an agnostic.  I proudly proclaimed this to everyone when the name of God and of Jesus Christ was brought up. Merriam-Webster's defines the word "agnostic" as a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.  In my "indoctrination" by my live-in lover, I was merely saying that I would not say there is or there is not a God. Stupid girl with immature and wild notions, I was.  I may have been forgiven by our Loving Father, but I still have not forgiven myself.

I finally came to my senses enough to realize that my daughter was growing up with no family near her.  My sister had convinced me to move to the South where most of my mother and dad's family live, and where she lived.  Thus, I packed up and moved in February 1980 just as the horrid rains that plague southern California were in full force.  The beginning of my drive was slow and dreary, but in three days, I would arrive at my sister's.

I married a man I had only met two months earlier. My mama and daddy tried to talk me into waiting, but I was still headstrong.  I had tried going to the Baptist church with my sister and her family, but it just didn't move my heart in any way.  I married a man of Italian descent and thus began going to the Catholic Church.

I remembered going to a Catholic wedding as a child.  My impression was that it was long, but I was extremely fascinated by the genuflection, the priest's garments, the adoration and reverence of the entire Mass.  I never forgot this occasion.  In fact, my Aunt had enrolled her two sons in parochial school, thus they officially became Catholics. I won't ever forget them saying "Grace" before meals at our house.

Back then, just overhearing family talk and such, I got the impression that Catholicism was something strange and not acceptable.  Well, if there is one thing that can be said about me, it is that the strange and unacceptable ways of life brought a mound of curiosity in me.  And, I acted on that curiosity on many occasions.

Slowly I learned to follow the missal, when to genuflect, when to kneel and when to stand.  In my heart, I was a Catholic but I knew that I had to go through certain rites under the laws of the Church in order to become a true Catholic.  I began this process at a church where the Priest was hard and brutal.  I had to send my parents form that they had to sign to say that I had never been baptized in another faith.  I recall the silence of my Dad whenever we spoke about our faith, that silence having now turned to resign and acceptance.  The application was processed and the annulment was granted.

In 1985, we bought our first home.  It became a long drive to St. Mark's, and there was another Catholic parish just two miles away, so I convinced my husband to give it a try. By then I had born a son and also had my daughter, who was 14, and we needed something more than we were getting at St. Mark's.  St. Mark's was a very old church and it's patronage was also largely elderly.  There was no youth group whatsoever, and thus we began going to Mass at St. Patrick's.

A year later, I began RCIA class in September.  I was baptized into the Catholic faith and confirm on Easter Vigil 1987.  It felt marvelous to have the official seal of the Catholic faith.  Since Day One attending Mass, I fell in love with the Church and the Mass.  All that it embodied was reverent and sacred, and I had longed for the body and blood of Christ for so long. Now my thirst and hunger were satisfied.  However, it would be years before I fully came to my conversion.

I divorced (again) in 1995 and spent 6 years as a single parent.  It was a dreadful time and I was constantly lonely and longing for someone to love me and be good to me.  I met and married my current husband in 2001.  We had gone through RCIA together years earlier.  His wife had left him also in 1995.  We bought a lovely home where we now reside and began our life together.  This married life has been wrought with dissention, mostly due to the difficulties in blending two people's families that included two children on both sides.  That is a whole story in and of itself, but suffice to say, we love one another deeply or we would never have made it through the storm.

In January 2005, I had surgery where a transforaminal fusion was performed on my lower spine, at the L4/L5 levels.  Once home, I was positive about the recovery.  However, over a period of four months, the pain became more and more intense. Numerous trips to the doctor were fruitless. I was assured repeatedly that it was "just a little arthritis" and sent home.  I was sent to a pain manager who gave me some very heavy narcotics and then performed a "block" on my lower spine which sent me into a downward spiral.  After two days, my daughter was at my side, along with my husband, calling this doctor to no avail.  Repeated calls were not answered.  I was literally dying.  It felt as though I were in the process of a slow death by a sword gouging into my spine. I began praying for healing as soon as I came out of surgery.  At home, I spent four months in my bedroom, alternating from bed to chair and back again, using heat, ice, and any pain medication I could get from my doctor.  But, nothing helped.  After months of prayer, I was now crying and holler aloud, "dear God, why won't you help me?"

On April 28, 2005, I told my husband at 9 p.m., "Take me to the hospital."  I had to lay in the back seat of the car and the ride was unbearable.  Once there, I could neight sit in a wheel chair nor lay down.  The pain was the most horrible thing that I have ever experienced, and it didn't let up.  When I was checking in to the ER, the nurse asked me why I was there, and part of my answer was, "I'm not leaving until someone tells me what is wrong with me. There is something terribly wrong."

I laid on a gurney in the hallway for about 45 minutes until a doctor finally came, inserted a port in my arm and began giving me injections of morphine for my pain.  I was admitted after all the precursory admitting protocol had been achieved.  The next morning, a barrage of testing began.  That afternoon, before my husband came back, in walked my orthopedist (who had performed the surgery) and another doctor.  My doctor introduced the man as a doctor whose specialty was Infectious Disease.  He proceeded to tell me that there had been a bone marrow "change" and that I had a staph infection. There was a pocket of fluid at the surgery site and surgery must be done.  They were very technical and the ID doctor was very serious.  This prompted fear and as he was leaving my room, I asked, "Am I going to die?"  Very sternly, he replied, "You're NOT going to die," and he left.

I had surgery that following Monday and when I awoke, I cried in pain. I was in recovery and I was screaming "Dear God, please, please help me."  The nurse were trying to get the morphine drip going (why didn't they do that before I awoke?) and it just wasn't coming fast enough.  The short of that story is that I spent 12 days in the hospital before going home with a PICC line in my arm.  We were met at home by a nurse. Once I was in bed, my grandchildren, daughter and husband surrounding me, the nurse proceeded to hook me up to a 24/7 drip of a heavy antibiotic that I was going to have to maintain for the next 8 weeks.  I had a rather heavy but small computer in a bag through which the IV line traveled and it was set to a drip level and functioned automatically.  However, the line had to be changed every day and a new bag of antibiotics attached.  My husband began doing this and as I improved, he returned to work which forced me to have to deal with this.  Nurses came once per week to bring a new supply of antibiotics, and after 8 weeks, the line was removed.

I had lost 40 pounds and my next and last hurdle was going through detox of the heavy narcotics that I had been taking for months for pain.  This time, I had an excellent pain management doctor.  I had about a three-day period where I "spun out" and it was horrifying.  I tell people that I know how an addict feels, unfortunately, because even a managed detox program did not alleviate some bad side effects.

After all was said and done, I came to realize something very powerful.  From childhood when I detested going to church, to rebellious teen and years forward, a denial of God, through my "conversion", and now overcoming a life-threatening event, God has always been there.  He made me realize that through everything in my life, even when I did not acknowledge Him, He never left my side.  HOWEVER, and this is in my interpretation of a host of events, God saved me and brought me home, but not before He brought me to my knees.

What a glorious and wonderful moment in my life.  Today, I am so full of the Holy Spirit.  God and Christ truly LIVE in my heart.  My life is forever changed. I never knew such contentment and happiness.  My life and my heart feel full.  I am no longer afraid to die.   I pray constantly and God is always answering my prayers!!  Imagine my amazement when He began to answers my little prayers and that I actually saw it.  Now my prayers are enormous and He is still there, working His powerful miracles and filling me with joy.

Two years ago, a dark door opened while I was with my best friend. I had been telling her about my adoption and six months after that conversation, she sat me down.  She told me that she had been trying to tell me something for six months, but that every time she mentioned it, I replied by going to other topics as if I didn't even hear her.  Finally, she demanded my attention and I gave it to her.  In short, I had told her of a time prior to my adoption when a man (my biological father) "took me into the bathroom and stood me on the toilet."  I need not tell the rest.

I could have gone to pieces over this, but I called my mama and daddy and told them about this.  My wonderful and loving Daddy said, "honey, you are safe and have been safe since you came to live with us.  You need to just think of your life as beginning at that point."  That was pretty profound, but it was amazing.  I did just as he suggested. I never think about that time now.  All I know is that God loves me, Jesus loves me, the Blessed Mother loves me, the Saints love me, and I will never, ever be alone again, nor will my heart ever hurt for comfort again.  I know that I am at Home.  I am where I was always meant to be.  Had God not been with me all of those years, I might now be six feet under without any chance of gaining access to His Kingdom.  I am Home and it feels perfect and right.  Thanks be to God!

WISDOM

Before I knew the Lord and Jesus Christ, I used to "wish" for material possessions.  Today's wisdom reflects the change that I have experienced from my conversion.  My life has so much meaning now because of Christ, thanks be to God.



~*~

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and Life.

~Proverbs 22:4, King James Version

Good Morning Everyone!


Good morning to everyone out there in bloggerville!  It is raining cats and dawgs here in the South.  I am up EARLY today because of all those horrid dreams I have after my hubby leaves for work.  I started having him close and lock the bedroom door (I know, but the dreams are frightening), and now I dream that I'm awak and someone is trying to get through the door.  If dreams have meaning, I wish I knew why I'm always dreaming someone is trying to harm me after my husband leaves in the morning!  I've lived in this house in this wonderful, SAFE neighborhood for years!

I'm starting the day with a Reflection made by my patron saint, St. Therese.  Everyone have a safe and blessed day!
 
"To live by love is to go through life sowing peace and joy in hearts!"
~St. Therese, The Little Flower

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken Soup For the Soul: Living the Catholic Faith

"This is a time to encounter the ever-living Christ in the city of the martyrs.   You are heirs to a great past.  Be not afraid! Open your heartsk lives, difficulties, problems and joy to Christ.  Jesus knows all that is inside you.  To serve Christ is freedom.  Jesus desires to enter and live in you.  He knocks on the door of your heart.  Christ is inviting you on a path of holiness to eternal life.  Pray together, young people, with the gift of union.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

"What are you here in search of? Who have to come here to find?  Search for Jesus Christ, yet understand that Jesus has first gone in search of you.  Celebrate the meeting!  God works mysteriously inthe situations of your life.  You are called to light and are a human person being called to glory.  Each one of you is preciou to Christm, known personally and loved tenderly, even when you don't realize it."


Pope John Paul II
15th Annual World Youth Day
August, 2000



Oh how I miss this precious and beautiful man, Pope John Paul II.  This struck me in one of the many stories contained in the titled book.  I limit myself to reading two, maybe three stories per day so that I can meditate on the meaning behind each.

Blessings,
Abbey

In The Beginning

The following is my FIRST post on "Abbey's Road" on December 12, 2007.  I now have logged 1,250 posts since.  Prior to blogspot, I was on another blog network (blog.com), so I would guess that I have been blogging at least 4 full years.  I wonder if I can recapture the old blog entries .... hm?  Food for thought ... It's strange going back and reading some of the first posts.  But I love doing this because I love writing and I LOVE even more praising God by posting His word and things related,

~*~

LOST WEEKEND
12/12/2007

I'd long forgotten that I began to assemble a blog on blogger until I accidentally landed on the blog of a member of my community. Wow, what a surreal feeling to start the set-up, only to be told that I already had a blog account. Well, here I am. I was at blog.com, but after so many problems, I have decided to move. I'm going to post some of my more recent posts just to get things started. You'll find that I love the Lord and I post a lot of "messages" that I receive by way of verses and prayers. Sometimes, I will post every day, if I feel I have something worthy (or not), and then you may not see anything new for a few days. In any event, I appreciate all who visit ... and in the words of one of the hymns at my church, "All are welcome in this place."


Abbey

The Power of Praise

Mark Brown has, in my opinion, made a wonderful interpretation of this Psalm passage.  It is very inspiring and such a joyful way to live our lives, 24/7! With so much inspiration all around me, intentionally placed there by me with God's help, my life has been forever more changed.  I will Praise Him and His Son, Jesus Christ all the days of my life. Amen.


~*~


Power of Praise – Psalm 145:1-7

My journey deeper into God’s Word is just amazing, I am learning every day, being refined to become more of what God wants me to be. And recently I have being receiving this sense from God that I am to revisit some of my past reflections, to consolidate and firm up my learning. So until I get a sense from God otherwise I am going to repost some past reflections, spend time reconnecting with what God has previously shown me. This is exciting!

Praising God is something I don’t do enough of and this amazing passage gives me four tips to help my in praising God more.
‘I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.’ Psalm 145 : 1-7

The first is that I praise God by exalting Him, by stating how awesome and wonderful God is! Yesterday I went hiking in the New Zealand bush and marvelled at His amazing creation. Today I went to the pool with my kids and watched them laughing and having fun and praise Him for the blessing of new life. God is amazing!! Seriously, seriously amazing! And this amazing creator of the universe loves me, wow!

The second tip is to praise God for ever and ever. My praise should be constant, throughout my busy day I should bring to mind how wonderful and glorious God is! This includes thanking God for the good things that happen to me, but is actually much more about stating the greatness of God. I am prone to presenting a shopping list of personal needs for prayer and of praising God for the ‘ticks on my list’, for those prayers answered.

But Psalm 145 : 1-7 shows me the importance of recognising the magnificence, the greatness of God, quite separate to what happens to me. And yet this will have an affect on me. The more I praise God for who He is, the more I am drawn closer to Him as I realise my need for Him.

The third tip is that I praise God through telling others about God’s mighty acts. Freely sharing with those I interact with how God is working in my life and the lives of others.

And the fourth tip is that I can praise God by reading the Bible (‘..and I will meditate on your wonderful works.’); and the more time I spend journeying deeper into God’s Word, the more I realise how awesome God is and the more I should praise Him!

God is awesome and mighty and worthy of praise!

God bless ya!
Mark Brown
Journey Deeper Into God's Word

TODAY'S SMILE



Some defeats are only installments to victory.

~Jacob Riis


~*~

Remeber the above the next time you are feeling "defeated".  Life is made up of many, many small "battles", but through Faith, you will win the War!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where is Abbey?

Now I just KNOW that everyone was missing me today (not?) . . . I spent the day with my new grandson, Cooper, and his mama and daddy, Amber and Kerry (my son).  Cooper is 2 1/2 weeks old now and we keep waiting for that fussy baby to pop out, but he has not shown his face.  I have to brag on what a GOOD baby Cooper is.  The only time he's fussy is when he is getting his diaper changed (he doesn't like the cold wipes, but he's getting used to them) and when he was getting a spongebath.  His navel fell off three days ago so Amber is bathing him in the baby bath seat that I gave her, in the bathtub, and Cooper seems to love his bath now. 

I woke up from a really horrid night.  I take anxiety medication, among a bunch of others (UGH!) and I didn't take it night before last, and last night I only took one.  I had a really fitfull and sleepless night.  After Lee left this morning, which is when I usually get my best nap, I was all over the bed.  I had this erie feeling in and was so restless; it was nightmarish.  I finally got up to a full-blown anxiety attack.  Quick, take my medicine and had a cup of coffee and I was so much better. I should know better than to skip doses on something like that.

After spending the day with Cooper, I came home in the finest mood, took my shower and am sitting beside Lee as I write, and he is watching Alabama and Tennessee basketball.  Alabama is one point up at the present - ROLL TIDE!!!!

Here's a couple of pictures I took of Cooper today.  If he is not a miracle from God, then I don't know what a miracle is!






Thank you, God, for this beautiful life.  He has already brought so much joy into our lives.

THIS DAY'S . . .

It was as if I wrote it as I read John Newton's quote.  Pretty profound, and rings loudly to me.  I sometimes want to make a hasty decision, but then I stop and make myself sleep on it, one or more nights, and then my decision is not anywhere near what it would have been if I'd made it hastily.  That was a very hard lesson to learn because I am so anxious by nature, but thank God, I finally got it!

~*~



I can hardly recollect a single plan of mine, of which I have not since seen reason to be satisfied that , had it taken place in season and circumstance just as I proposed, it would , humanly speaking, have proved my ruin; or at least it would have deprived me of the greater good the Lord had designed for me.

~John Newton

~*~



We live by faith, not by sight.

~2 Corinthians 5:7, The New International Version

Monday, January 18, 2010

THIS DAY'S . . .

Noticeably absent is This Day's Thought.  It confounded me and if I don't understand it, I won't post it.  I absolutely love today's Verse.  Such expression of love and commitment - awesome! And today's Smile! It's just as profound .... Happy Day!

~*~


And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.

~Ruth 1:16-17, The King James Version

~*~


A story is told of old Thomas K. Beecher, who could not bear deceit in any form. Finding that a clock in his church was habitually too fast or too slow he hung a placard on the wall above it, reading in large letters: ”DON’T BLAME MY HANDS- THE TROUBLE LIES DEEPER.” That is where the trouble lies with us when our hands do wrong, or our feet, or our lips, or even our thoughts. The trouble lies so deep that only God’s miracle power can deal with it. Sin indeed goes deep, but Christ goes deeper.

~The Elim Evangel

Heartlight




VERSE
:


There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

~1 Corinthians 10:13


THOUGHT:

TEMPTATION ... We've all been there. Satan's silver bullet designed just for us personally. "No one will ever know; besides it won't hurt anybody!" some mysterious voice sounding like our own whispers. Even if those two statements were true, and they never really are, it would matter because something inside of us caved in to what we knew was wrong. One line of defense is to simply remind ourselves we are not alone in this temptation -- others have faced it and conquered it, so we can too, by God's help and the power of his Holy Spirit.

PRAYER:

Most Holy Father, guard my heart from temptation and my life from sin. I want to serve you with wholehearted devotion. Forgive me for my past sin, and by your grace and through your word, strengthen me with your Holy Spirit so that I may overcome the temptations that Satan uses to separate me from you. Through my Protector and Redeemer I pray. Amen.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In God We Trust

On this day, God wants you to know...

... that God is there for you to hold on. Hold on to what is good, even if it's a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it's a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it's a long way from here. Hold on to your faith, even if it's easier to let go. Hold on to God's hand.

~*~

This is one of the most beautiful messages that I have received in a while.  I think I'll "hold on" to it!

It's My Hangup!

I take after my Grandma White. She was always "doing", even if she was sitting, she was doing crochet or embroidery, making her own clothes . . . moving the furniture!  She liked a change and now that I think about it, it was often.  I like change, and it's a good thing because it is one of those things that will always be, along with death and taxes.  I've been experimenting with backgrounds lately.  I like this one; I'm sure it is a good representation of how things are up north, so I'll give it a whirl. Don't be surprised to find a new one tomorrow or the next day . . . it's my hangup. I like change.

PEACE, LOVE, JOY! 

I AM . . .

A Kept Woman


I am a 'Kept' Woman

You see, there were a few times when I thought I Would lose my mind,but GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)

There were times when I thought I could go no longer,but the LORD kept
me moving. (Gen 28:15)

At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I helt had done me wrong,
but the LORD kept my mouth shut. (Psa. 13)

Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough, but GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc.., (Matt. 6:25 -34)

When I thought I would fall, HE kept Me up. When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear Me!

I'm blessed to be 'kept'!



I'm "Kept"
By the Love and Grace of God

Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier??

Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier, Text Suggests
By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 15 January 2010 09:32 am ET


The ancient text shown in this drawing was discovered on a shard of pottery in Israel, and turned out to be the earliest known example of Hebrew writing. Credit: University of Haifa
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The ancient text shown in this drawing was discovered on a shard of pottery in Israel, and turned out to be the earliest known example of Hebrew writing. Credit: University of Haifa Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing — an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David's reign.

The breakthrough could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought. (The Bible's Old Testament is thought to have been first written down in an ancient form of Hebrew.)

Until now, many scholars have held that the Hebrew Bible originated in the 6th century B.C., because Hebrew writing was thought to stretch back no further. But the newly deciphered Hebrew text is about four centuries older, scientists announced this month.

"It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research," said Gershon Galil, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, who deciphered the ancient text.

BCE stands for "before common era," and is equivalent to B.C., or before Christ.

The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel's Elah valley. The excavations were carried out by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At first, scientists could not tell if the writing was Hebrew or some other local language.

Finally, Galil was able to decipher the text. He identified words particular to the Hebrew language and content specific to Hebrew culture to prove that the writing was, in fact, Hebrew.

"It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ('did') and avad ('worked'), which were rarely used in other regional languages," Galil said. "Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ('widow') are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages."

The ancient text is written in ink on a trapezoid-shaped piece of pottery about 6 inches by 6.5 inches (15 cm by 16.5 cm). It appears to be a social statement about how people should treat slaves, widows and orphans. In English, it reads (by numbered line):

1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

The content, which has some missing letters, is similar to some Biblical scriptures, such as Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, and Exodus 23:3, but does not appear to be copied from any Biblical text.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FOLLOWERS WANTED!



I wanted to introduce you to my daughter's new blog, "A Blessing A Day".  I hope you will stop by and give her some encouragement to continue blogging.  I'm really excited for her!

Blessings,
Abbey

Scriptures About God’s Love And Provision

I came upon these quite accidentally.  The list is very amazing and it does not include all scripture regarding God's love for each of us.  Perhaps by reading these spiritual declarations, you will feel a sense of renewal as I did.


It is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11


For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48


Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17


For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33


My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11


Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3


My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18


And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17


I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40


For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41


And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3


If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29


Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4


For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13


I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20


For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17


I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4


When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18


As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11


One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4


And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4


I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23


For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26


He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3


He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31


And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19



THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I want to extend my thanks, actually I am very grateful for all who have prayed for my son. I also wanted to let you know that our Loving Father has heard all of our prayers and has been working in this situation.  My son ASKED for help, made the call and appointment with a doctor HIMSELF, which is what is necessary to show one's seriousness of wanting help.  He saw the doctor yesterday and began a treatment that suppresses and blocks the effects of the prescription medication that he became addicted to.  The medication treatment is called Suboxone. 

After his appointment, he came by to see me and I saw such relief on his face.  He told me that he had been praying, asking God for a way out of this and then, out of nowhere, my niece called me and told me about Suboxone.  Praise God!  This had to come from divine intervention.  His doctor said his case was so mild in comparison to a "real addict" that he should not have any problems and he expects my son to be in the clear soon.

Again, I am so very grateful for your prayers and I give all the Glory to God! Amen!

Friday, January 15, 2010

PRAYERS NEEDED

As a Prayer Warrior for my parish, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, I have received an urgent prayer request for Gary Stryker.  There is a CaringBridge site set up for Gary to update his progress and for Guests to write in support of Gary and his family.  You can find it here.  The following is from Gary's CaringBridge site:

Gary was taken to the E.R. at Shelby Baptist Medical on Sunday 1/10/10 at 11:30pm. He was completely unresponsiv​e and his oxygen levels were dangerously low. After testing, both of his lungs are completely "white" and "hard" and they have diagnosed him with "Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome" or "ARDS".

Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were. - Psalm 39:12
Please keep Gary and his family in your prayers. 

Blessings,
Abbey

ISN'T IS IRONIC?



IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.

IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.

IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.

IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.

IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.

IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.

IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.

IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET :

* A JOB,
* A DRIVERS LICENSE,
* SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
* WELFARE,
* FOOD STAMPS,
* CREDIT CARDS,
* SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE,
* FREE EDUCATION,
* FREE HEALTH CARE,
* A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON
* BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE
* THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY’S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON’T GET ENOUGH RESPECT

I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION….

THEY WILL.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I AM

IN LOVE





As you know, my fourth grandchild, a boy name Cooper, was born on Monday, January 4, 2010. This past Saturday, we helped to move Cooper's daddy, my son Kerry, and his Mama, Amber, into their first house that they actually own. Giving them a few days to get themselves situated, I asked albeit a little trepidatiously if perhaps it would help if I came and spent the night. Amber was welcoming and warm and basically said "come any time you want", so I drove down yesterday. It's only an hour's drive, which is a short drive in comparison if you live in, say, Los Angeles (where I HAVE lived). The small, old home that they purchased has been improved with an addition of a den and master bedroom and bath on the rear. The brand new furnace wasn't working, but Amber has a LOT of friends and one was Chris, who works on HVAC systems. He said it had a completely wrong thermostat, replaced it and BOOM - we had heat! It's a cute little house with brand new hardwoods throughout. We have some cosmetics to do - painting and such - but in time, they will make it their own.

Spending time with Cooper was indescribable. We haven't had a new baby in the family in 8 years! Cooper is so small. He had his first appointment with his pediatrician this morning. He has lost 5 ounces, which is normal. He was about 3 weeks premature and weighed 6 lbs. 3 oz. at birth. He eats heartily every 2-3 hours and if he doesn't wake up, Amber wakes him to change and feed to try and get some weight on his tiny frame. I took the pictures in this post during my visit yesterday.

I held him as he was sleeping, changed him, fed him and found myself staring at him for long minutes, soaking up every feature of his beautiful face, hands, feet . . . all of him. His expressions, the way he sucks in his lower lip and then purses it in the shape of a kiss if you prod his chin just a little. When he was asleep, he cackled out and had a huge smile on his face when I was holding. My mama always says that they're dreaming that they're playing with the angels. Isn't that a beautiful thought?

But, reality is, he is not "my baby", but my grandbaby and I hesitantly left and returned home today. I am finding it hard to pull away from him. My other three live three houses away from me. I love them so much and they have been this enormous rock for me ever since they each came into this world.  I never realized that I had even MORE love in my heart than I'd already experienced.  What an amazing feeling! I guess I'm just a bit emotional in my middle age as I see life moving more swiftly than ever.




It will be a few days, but I will see my little Cooper Anthony again very soon. I can't wait until he is old enough to come and stay at Mimi's and Auntie Christie's for a couple of days.  Right now, Amber is very impressive as a first-time mother, as is my son.  He changes diapers, cleans little Cooper up, puts on his "Butt Paste" and diaper and then feeds him his bottle.  He has really amazed me, as his mother who has always looked at him as her little boy who needed her help.  He is a man now, with his own son, and it is more joyful to my heart than I had imagined.


In God We Trust


On this day of your life, God wants you to know ... that you are to let grace flow freely from your heart.

Think back over the last few days, - how many times have you felt appreciation towards another? How many times have you thought about another: 'what a lovely smile', or 'she is so nice', or 'such a kind man', or any of a myriad of other appreciative thoughts. Did you express them? Did you come up to her and say: 'you are so nice'? And why not? Why did you stop divine grace from flowing freely from your heart? Do you want to change the world to the better? This is it, this is how you start.

THIS DAY'S . . .





~We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what the Christian life is all about.

~R. C. Sproul

~*~



Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.


~Psalm 119:105, The New International Version

~*~



Prayer of a soldier; "Oh, Lord, don't let nothin' get hold of me that you and me can't handle!"

~Unknown

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On Obama-Care

THIS DAY'S . . .

Both This Day's Thought and Verse are very thought-provoking.  I found Meister Eckhart's quote interesting. How about you?



The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me.

~Meister Eckhart

~*~



I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

~Galatians 2:20, The New International Version

Just For Laughs!

Observations on Growing Older


~Your kids are becoming you...and you don't like them ,..but your grandchildren are perfect!

~Going out is good. Coming home is better!

~When people say you look "Great".... they add "for your age!"

~When you needed the discount you paid full price. Now you get discounts on everything .. movies, hotels, flights, but you're too tired to use them..

~You forget names ... but it's OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!

~The 5 pounds you wanted to lose is now 15 and you have a better chance of losing your keys than the 15 pounds.

~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything .... especially golf.

~Your husband is counting on you to remember things you don't remember.

~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.

~Your husband sleeps better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than he does in bed. It's called his "pre-sleep".

~Remember when your mother said "Wear clean underwear in case you GET in an accident"? Now you bring clean underwear in case you HAVE an accident!

~You used to say, "I hope my kids GET married .. Now, "I hope they STAY married!"

~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..

~When GOOGLE, ipod, email, modem ... were unheard of, and a mouse was something that made you climb on a table.

~You used to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?" ???

~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.

~Your husband has a night out with the guys but he's home by 9:00 P.M. ...next week it will be 8:30 P.M.

~You read 100 pages into a book before you realize you've read it.

~Notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!

~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.

~Everybody whispers.

~Now that your husband has retired ... you'd give anything if he'd find a job!

~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet ... 2 of which you will never wear.

!But old is good in some things: old songs, old movies, And best of all OLD FRIENDS!!

Wisdom

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

~2 Corinthians 5:18-19, King James Version

~*~

Emphasis on the word "reconciliation". Where would we be if we were not given a single chance of reconciling our sins with Jesus Christ?  Another "truth" that was given to all of mankind, but which, sadly, many do not practice.  Don't you just feel so much better after you've confessed your sins to Him and done your penance?  If you're sincere in this practice, there is no possible way that you cannot feel Him lift these things from your soul.  AMAZING GRACE!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just Because

It is a very busy time for me, and thus, I ask for your patience.  Please don't stop coming by to visit.  I have a new grandson, Cooper, who is one week old, so naturally I am giving him and his parents a lot of time and attention.  I am overjoyed and just enjoying every moment that I am blessed to spend with them.

My fibromyalgia is troubling at the present time.  I was writing a "Thank You" note for Christmas gifts received and it is quite noticeable that my handwriting has changed . . . dramatically.  I was one who people complimented my penmanship, but I have to say that what I wrote today was horrid.  I'll be 56 years old in a couple of weeks and the physical toll of the disease I have is obvious.  HOWEVER, I am a very stubborn lady and I refuse to stop living life as I know it.  By God's Grace, I will continue to "overdo it" and try to not complain too much when I suffer the repercussions of my acts! Ha!

It is a clear, cold evening here in the South.  I went outside for a few minutes just a bit ago and was enjoying the beautiful clear sky where the stars are illuminated by the hundreds.  All I could think was "I can't wait for springtime."  Clear skies also means colder temps, but it could be worse.  I could be living where some of you live way up north.  You gotta love snow (and I do).

Blessings,
Abbey

This Day's . . .

Good Monday to you all.  Today's Verse is short AND VERY SWEET! It is a human thing that when we have troubles, we become consumed in our own angst and worry, trying our best to overcome them, when all we need to is . . .[see Today's Verse]!  Pray for me as I pray for you!  Love, Abbey

~*~



I presumed to fix my look on the eternal light so long that I consumed my sight thereon.

~Dante Alighieri

~*~



“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”


~Exodus 14:14, The New International Version

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We struggle with the complexities and avoid the simplicities.

~Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, January 08, 2010

In God We Trust



On this day, God wants you to know...

... that you are a child of God. Remain strong in your faith, no matter how many mistakes God's children make along the way of growing up, they are still destined for Grace and eternal Joy.

~*~

Is this awesome or what?  Remember my post entitled "Wisdom"? I received this after I wrote about Faith.  God is so amazing!

HEARTLIGHT



VERSE:

Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

~Amos 5:14-15

THOUGHT:

A whole bunch of folks claim that God is on their side. In reality, the important question is whether we are on God's side! That's determined more by what we seek and do rather than what we think and say. God longs to be with us, but he will not sacrifice his character to extend us cheap grace -- a grace that does not call us to be like him and live with Jesus as our Lord. He's looking for believers who put their character where their mouths are and work to bring goodness to their world, culture, and legal systems.

PRAYER:

Most Holy God, your righteousness and holiness are beyond me. I know that my best efforts are only vain attempts to attain them. Yet I long, dear Father, to be more like you in every way that it is humanly possible. Let me know of your presence with me as I seek after you, your character, and your goodness in my life. Teach me to be revolted by the things you call evil. In the name of Jesus the Righteous One I pray. Amen.